Need help understanding the world

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Lately I have been noticing a trend. It started with my mother’s diagnosis with cancer. We went from one hospital to another to get a better understanding of what her condition might be before getting confirmation that it was indeed cancer. And at each hospital the doctors were so insensitive, refusing to give us a direction until we finished X number of tests, acting so detached – it made me feel like I was interacting with robots. Is this reality? We don’t care and are just here to get by? I am not saying this out of hurt or pain. I have thought quite deeply about it and it seems to me that we are all selfish and everything about kindness and empathy is a lie when it comes to action. Is there kindness really? That it is a state of being tells me that it is uncommon, that we have to appreciate someone’s “kindness”. Most people I have recently labelled kind were just decent human beings.

    All this leaves me dejected. What is the point? We are all here to survive and our quality of life or how well people treat us depends on where we are in the social hierarchy. I would step out of it but as is the case with doctors I need to be part of it and I hate that. To have to interact with such people out of compulsion is really draining.

    How do I get through this?



    Dear gj:

    “Need help understanding the world”- to understand the world we have to understand the beginning of the world for each one of us. The beginning of the world for each one of us is our childhood.

    “how well people treat us depends on where we are in the social hierarchy”- and children are in the lowest of social hierarchy, born with no money, no item of luxury, no academic title, no property, but naked, not even able to control their bodily functions. And so, many parents treat their children accordingly.

    You wrote in your previous thread: “My mom has complained that her parents never truly cared about her”- her parents didn’t value her, didn’t love her.

    And then,  in turn, “I once asked her how she felt when she held me for the first time, she said she does not remember much and agreed it may not have been a significantly joyous reaction”.

    Following your birth, she never told you anything kind, didn’t cherish you, didn’t listen to you and was detached from you (“I never heard any kind words from her… knowing someone is always there for you and cherishes you. I do not have evidence for that. My mom.. never listens… just detached“).

    Unloved children become unloving adults, to their own children and to anyone and everyone ese, and they treat nicely those who have something they want, like prestige, power, money.

    “we are all selfish and everything about kindness and empathy is a lie when it comes to action”– what about you, what are your next actions, selfish or kind?

    -your mother suffered in her own arranged marriage but she has passionately wanted to arrange your marriage to a stranger. You are eager to please her more now than before, because she is sick. Will you then marry a stranger? And when you do, will you have a child with this stranger-

    And when you hold that baby for the first time, will it also be for you, a not “a significantly joyous reaction”?

    Hope for the world is when parents value and love their children. When you pass on the lack of love to your own children, you do your  part contributing to the world you are complaining about.

    All your love for your mother (and there is a lot of it) will not do anything to undo the lack of love she experienced from her own  parents. She is not open to receive your love, never has been.

    But your children in the future, they will be 100% open to your love. Don’t do to  them what your mother did to you and what her mother did to her. Don’t cause their hearts to harden and continue the tradition of insensitivity, detachment and acting like robots (“the doctors were so insensitive… acting so detached… robots”).




    Hi anita,

    I don’t think it has to do with wanting to  feel loved or accepted. I know people with stable relationships, supportive family and good background who still do this. They are quite close to me, it is not just an appearance, and they are just as insensitive. Also I am not insensitive nor are people who have actually been cast out by their own families.

    I am all for raising kids with love. But  waiting for the whole world to do the same does not make sense.




    Dear gj:

    I am sorry that your mother was diagnosed with cancer. I am sure this is difficult for her and for you. I wonder how your sister responded to this unfortunate news.

    You wrote that you “know people with stable relationships, supportive family and good background who still do this”, this meaning (from your original post), acting detached, like robots, don’t care, selfish, unkind, unempathetic, and some people are treated better because they are higher in social hierarchy.

    Regarding doctors and health professionals, it is known that they act detached because they face illness and tragedy all day long at work, and if they felt empathy for each patient they would be very exhausted.

    Can you give me a few examples of people you know, who have supportive families, grew up with empathy in their homes and as adults act detached, robot-like, selfish, unkind and unempathetic, in what circumstances do they act these ways?




    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  anita.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  anita.


    Dear Girija:

    I spent hours re-reading all your posts on your few threads.

    Here is a beautiful moment, was a beautiful moment when you wrote to me: “You have said the most nice things anyone has ever said to me. You feel like family to me. No one has been this understanding and supportive”

    And here is another one, the best one: I am starting to believe in the adventure and the blue sky you described anita. I am finally able to admit to myself that the nest is suffocating, i just needed to know that my wings were strong enough. I do now, and would also not mind falling as I try to reach the sky. It gives me hope”.

    But later you wrote: “It’s back – the hopelessness… part of me died when i was younger – the part that could go after things. I am more a plant that a bird i am afraid”.

    A few facts about you: you are 23, graduated college in 2016, and have been working in a company for 2 years as a junior developer. You live with your parents, sister, grandmother and her care taker, sharing one room with your mother and sister. You have not yet had a relationship with a man. Your mother, recently diagnosed with cancer, has been pursuing an arranged marriage for you.

    “she is my mother and I love her, I don’t know how to override that emotion. Even imagining that – it made me go numb – i can’t really explain that. Maybe I am not angry enough?”-  in every girl’s heart, there is great love for her mother. We are born to love our mothers. I don’t think you can stop loving your mother no matter how angry you get at her, no matter how much you want to not love her. We love her no matter what, and we will forgive anything and everything, love her regardless and forevermore.

    The majority of your ongoing fear, your anxiety, is in your core belief that you are flawed and incompetent as a daughter, a student, an employee and a person. You believe that you are not capable of making good choices for yourself, that you are incompetent to choose wisely, so you don’t.

    This core belief  has robbed you from joy, passion and motivation for most of your life. You don’t have dreams and goals (or you don’t hold to those for long, beyond daydreaming, if you still do daydream) because you don’t believe that  you are capable of making any dream come true.

    Here are your words indicating these things: “(I) am living in fear and shame… Know (I am) flawed and that these flaws are visible to anyone easily if they look.. It’s inherently a problem with who I am… I feel dejected that there may be people in my team thinking I’m worthless… It makes me feel like a failure when I disappoint those around me… I feel powerless as  a person, so I try to avoid challenges and don’t think I can face them… I’ve decided I won’t be able to handle things going bad. I have no  dreams or goals…I am never sure what  the right thing to do is or if i am capable of doing it… i believe i am incompetent at living”.

    Your mother had “a stereotype of what a city girl should be- strong, fearless, social etc.” but “she was never any of those things”. She expected you to magically be these things, without being taught or shown, and without being emotionally cared for either.  When you understandably failed to live up to that stereotype, that is, to your mother’s unrealistic expectation, (feeling weak and fearful, not strong and fearless; uncomfortable in social situations, not confident), you formed the belief that you failed her and therefore, that you are a failure.

    Your home life was harsh and difficult, and then, you proceeded to view the whole world this way: “the world seems too harsh and difficult… people are too strong, harsh even cruel. No one stops to see where another is coming from”- this is your experience at home, with your mother (and  father and grandmother)-

    -These three people were “too strong, harsh even cruel”. These three people didn’t stop to see you. This is why you “severely hated (your) family for not being supportive in any way”, and why you “really feel empty and ..have no one”.

    And now, you hate the whole world.

    “I just wanted someone to  be by my side when I was down”, but you had no one. A child cannot become strong by not having someone by her side when she is a child- t is impossible for any child.

    Not only did you not have someone by your side when you were down, you had someone shaming you when you were down: “when I did not do well, I was most ashamed of facing her… ..when i was really down, even when she did listen and this was the hardest thing ever – she would say ‘ i already have enough to deal with your father, i can’t put up with you too…don’t add to my problems, i even have to get your sister married once you are done'”.

    “I would really like to be in a situation where i am skilled enough to earn the team’s respect. When some senior on the team is rude i am not able to convince myself that their rudeness is unwaranted and I keep telling myself i ought to be better but don’t do anything”- a team’s respect can make you feel good for only a moment before you worry once again that they see you for the incompetent person you were led to believe that you are,  “at work one failure and all the good work gets discounted”.

    “I in fact did not like it when she said my sister has a cool head and knows how to solve problems. I want to be seen as a person that can solve problems...proof to me that i can indeed solve problems… I do the exact same thing.. imagining to be famous and also changing the world”- you needed your mother to believe that you are able to solve small problems. She didn’t, so you daydreamed about changing the world. This is how strong you wanted your mother to believe in you solving small, everyday problems. If only she did..

    “i blame my seniors for not planning our projects out properly and then in the end questioning me as to why it took so ‘long’. While i would love for them to improve their planning skills, I think I could work harder too….How can I know if my expectations from others are too much or if i am being too sensitive for my own good?”- your expectations from others is that they do for you what your mother didn’t do for you, but they can’t. They can’t because they were not there when you were a child and that core belief was formed. So yes, your expectations from others are unrealistic.

    “no one at work again cares about what another person is feeling”- no one in your home cares about your feelings. Really, it is a parent’s job, not employers (although it would be nice).

    “Somehow for me, if I have to be true to myself – which means I will not pretend to be someone else”- this is very difficult to do when your mother’s advice to you “has always been a version of ‘don’t be like that'”.

    “My constant fear is that I am a raging, emotional and unstable person.. too sensitive or dramatic”- you have been raging because you have been stuck for too long in a crazy-making relationship with your mother, having no one growing up to make you feel calm.

    “the moment other people warn me or suggest impending danger i always listen, never do i consider for a second why this person deserves a say in my life”- so little is your confidence in your ability to solve problems, to make wise choices.

    “I hate that i am damaged. I hate that i have to pretend to not be damaged. I hate that the external signs of damage are funny to other people”- you can heal, you can get better, and none of your troubles is funny to me. There are many other people in the world who will not think your suffering is something that is funny.

    “I am all for raising kids with love. But  waiting for the whole world to do the same does not make sense”- don’t bring new children into this world then, not for as long as you are unwell and angry. Instead, take care of the child in  you who is hurting and angry. She needs much care.

    “part of the reason I am not able to insist marriage is not for me is the lure of having a partner when I screw up, so there is still one person standing so things don’t completely fall apart”- if you are incapable of choosing, how can you  possibly choose a man to .. choose well for you! And as far as arranged marriage, which your mother insists on, my goodness, your mother is definitely way less qualified than you are in choosing a capable husband for you.

    Save yourself, Girija. Help yourself. Don’t give up on you and don’t give up on the world. Find a place in it just for you, a place where you will finally be loved, and calm and okay being you.


    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.


    Dear gj,

    It’s like you’ve been on my mind. For months now, I get so emotionally charged, bitter and angry about the ways of the world. Why do people hurt their fellow people? Why do they lie, cheat, steal, murder, discriminate, torture…? Many whys and no becauses.

    But do the reasons and the answers truly matter? Is anything going to change? I think not. Not because I am a pessimist, but because this absence of emotion, morality or empathy is the coping mechanism of our species. In your case, these doctors are real people, with real feelings. Imagine allowing yourself be open to vulnerability and be in such a profession. It’s like carring the cross of the world on your shoulders. Attaching ones self with the other persons suffering, is only going to amplify this suffering on both sides. And the work needed to be done to heal such suffering would be blocked and thus not manifested.

    In other words, if I cry with my sister whenever she cries because she is hurt, I don’t help her. True, comfort is a helping hand, but if I really want to help, I have to be collected and focus on the solution to the issue.

    That’s for detachment and again, if only issued as a means to achieve a higher purpose. Not as an excuse to avoid a situation. Kindness however is so absent that I have to marvel with you and observe how human history “criminalized” it gradually, to the point where you’re either a fool to practice it, or old fashioned.

    In my own personal journey, kindness served me well, but also is a burden and a torture I have to endure when I freely gift it to undeserving individuals. And maybe that’s why society is in it’s majority unkind. Because rejection is the ultimate fear, be kind is an unwanted risk, no one wants to gamble on.

    Peace to you





    Hi anita,

    I have not been able to find time to visit the forum as frequently as i used to before. I will go over your recent posts and reply in some time.




    Dear Girija:

    When I wrote to you my most recent post, I was thinking that you might not read it at all, not having the time, or being too angry and closed to me, but posted anyway, just-in-case. I am still not optimistic about you being open to my words and recollections of our previous communication. I am here though, just in case.




    Hi anita,

    I am sorry if anything that i said or did gave the impression that i was angry, i never was. Closed? yes, but not rigid.I am trying to change and with that there is resistance. Sometimes i fight through it and at other times I let it take over me. The only reason I have not discussed about my mother here is that i was looking for an explanation of the world in general. But you are right, there are expectations I am projecting onto the world out of my needs that were unfulfilled by my family.

    I want to reply in greater length, i have a lot to share with you but I feel drained. Emotionally and physically – that is the only reason I am not replying. Please trust this bird is telling the truth 🙂 I will actually post on the other thread or would you prefer if it is here?  I had been meaning to ask your opinion on a few things that kind of made me rethink some of the things we discussed.

    Our previous communications are valuable to me. They really changed the way I saw myself. I would not ever hesitate to recollect them ever. I am still just as grateful to you now as i was to you back then. I know you are on my side here and it feels great to have that. 🙂



    Hi gj

    Sorry to hear about your Mother.

    It may sound trite however the best we can do at such times, is as Gandhi suggested, “be the change we want to see” In this way we might just influence others respond in kind.

    I suspect most doctors need strong boundaries in order not to be overwhelmed by everything they must deal with. That of course does not excuse a poor bedside manner. My own experience was that after the diagnoses and a plan established those in the medical field I dealt tended to show a great deal of compassion and kindness. I hope this will also be your experience.

    “May Light always surround you; Hope kindle and rebound you.
    May your Hurts turn to Healing; Your Heart embrace Feeling.
    May Wounds become Wisdom; Every Kindness a Prism.
    May Laughter infect you; Your Passion resurrect you.
    May Goodness inspire your Deepest Desires.
    Through all that you Reach For, May your arms Never Tire.”  ― D. Simone



    Dear Girija:

    Good to read you referring to yourself as “this bird” !!!

    You can post when you are rested, when you have the time and the inclination wherever you choose to post:  here, on the previous thread or start a new thread, anywhere you’d like. Wherever you start a post with my name, I will reply to you there.


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